Polish tourists fled to safety as a double-decker bus taking them to Ayutthaya burst into flames and was destroyed on an expressway in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district on Wednesday morning.
The white and red tour bus was carrying 15 tourists from Poland and their Thai guide. There were no injuries reported, but many passengers lost their luggage to the fire.
The bus burst into flames while outbound on the Si Rat Expressway, above the central bus terminal near the exit to Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, about 7.55am, according to traffic radio FM91 Trafficpro.
Fire trucks and crews and an expressway rescue team were rushed to the scene. They took about 20 minutes to put out the fire. By then the bus was totally gutted.
The fire caused heavy traffic congestion in the area.
The bus driver, Khuanchit Kaewmanee, 46, said he had picked up the 15 tourists and their guide at the Bangkok Palace Hotel in Makkasan area of Ratchathewi district. They were going to Ayutthaya province.
A short time later, while outbound on the expressway, he saw smoke coming from a luggage compartment, and there was the smell of something burning.
He immediately parked the bus on the left side of the expressway and got out to check. All passengers were asked to also leave the vehicle.
Mr Khuanchit said he managed to remove some passengers' bags from the bus before it burst into flames and he was forced to retreat.
The bus was totally destroyed. Police were investigating the cause of the fire.
A fire crew hoses down the wreckage of the burned-out tour bus. (Photo: FM91 Trafficpro)
The double-decker tour bus in flames on Si Rat Expressway in Chatuchak district, Bangkok on Wednesday morning. All 15 Polish tourists aboard, and their Thai guide, were unhurt. (Video by FM91 Trafficpro)